Lunuwila Coconut Research Institute Successfully Develops Coconut Saplings from Unopened Female Flowers
January 24, Colombo (LNW): In a groundbreaking achievement, the Lunuwila Coconut Research Institute (CRI) has achieved success in developing coconut saplings using tissue from the unopened female flower of the coconut plant. Dr. Sanathani Ranasinghe, the Director of Lunuwila CRI, announced that their research on coconut seedling preparation through tissue culture technology has been remarkably successful.
While many coconut-growing countries globally utilize tissue culture technology for coconut plant cultivation, they predominantly focus on parts associated with the coconut pulp. Notably, Lunuwila CRI’s research marks the first instance worldwide where coconut saplings have been developed using components from the unopened female flower of the coconut plant.
Agriculture and Plantation Industry Minister Mahinda Amaraweera recently visited the Lunuwila CRI to witness this groundbreaking achievement. The Minister inspected the successfully produced coconut saplings, cultivated in research tubes using a delicate portion of the coconut flower. Unlike traditional coconut cultivation methods that require ample space for seedling growth, Lunuwila CRI managed to cultivate coconut seedlings in compact glass tubes, each approximately six inches high.
Leading the research team, Dr. Ranasinghe, along with department head Dr. Vijitha Vidanarachchi and a group of scientists, played a pivotal role in this scientific breakthrough.
During discussions with officials, Minister Amaraweera emphasized the potential of this new technology in producing King Coconut seedlings, responding to the growing international demand for King Coconuts from Sri Lanka. Dr. Ranasinghe confirmed that Lunuwila CRI has already commenced the production of King Coconut plants using this innovative technology.
Expressing gratitude to the scientists behind this pioneering technology, Minister Amaraweera announced plans by the Agriculture and Plantation Industries Ministry to allocate necessary financial resources for the extensive production of coconut and orange seedlings through this cutting-edge method. The Minister highlighted that this accomplishment positions Sri Lanka at the forefront of agricultural innovation on a global scale.